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Expert Says Schools Mistakenly Believe More Tech Automatically Boosts Innovation

Expert Says Schools Mistakenly Believe More Tech Automatically Boosts Innovation

How are teachers able to test their level of innovation in the classroom?

In a recent webinar, Alan November, senior partner and founder of November Learning shares six questions that teachers can ask themselves to determine if they are "technology rich, innovation poor," according to November in an article on

"At the start of a webinar I recently conducted for school leaders, I asked attendees if they felt they were leading an innovative school as a result of the implementation of technology," November said. "More than 90 percent responded that they were. At the end of the webinar, when polled again, only one leader claimed to be leading an innovative school."

According to November, "if you answer no to all six questions when evaluating the design of assignments and student work, then chances are that technology is not really being applied in the most innovative ways. The questions we ask to evaluate implementation and define innovation are critical."

Here are the questions called the "Transformational Six":

  1. Did the assignment build capacity for critical thinking on the web?
  2. Did the assignment develop new lines of inquiry?
  3. Are there opportunities for students to make their thinking visible?
  4. Are there opportunities to broaden the perspective of the conversation with authentic audiences from around the world?
  5. Is there an opportunity for students to create a contribution (purposeful work)?
  6. Does the assignment demo “best in the world” examples of content and skill?

For the first question, November said "the concept of the 'digital native' knowing a lot more than the 'digital immigrants' is largely a myth."

"Critical thinking and careful evaluation of the reliability of sources is sorely lacking. Basically, we have a major mess on our hands," he said. "To make it worse, our students do not know that they do not know. If they knew their true ignorance, then they would ask their teachers for help in designing searches. But when was the last time any student asked a teacher for help in designing a search? Perhaps more importantly, when was the last time a teacher offered to help? If our students fail at step one—selecting the right information—then they will automatically fail at critical analysis."

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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